Man's coat - 958.131.618_1_3K


Man's coat

Maker: Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi)
Medium:Furred caribou hide, glass beads, pigment
Geography: Quebec-Labrador Peninsula, Canada
Date: c. 1930
125 x 71 x 10 cm
Object number: 958.131.618
On view
Gallery Location:Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture

Painted caribou skin coats manifest Innu respect for the caribou they hunted. This coat, with the fur left on, was worn in the winter with the fur against the skin. The hood is formed from the head of a caribou with the fur on the outside. When worn, the coat – symbolizing the caribou – gave the hunter the caribou’s power. 

Richard White, Jr. (1878-1950) was a trader, Innu and Inuit Curio dealer, and fox and mink farm breeder at Voisey's Bay, Labrador. He operated at Voisey's Bay continuously between 1919 and 1950. Between 1927 and 1950 he collected artifacts for Frank G. Speck who was a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. It is likely that all of the artifacts in the ROM's Frank Speck collection identified as from the Barren Ground band were collected by Richard White, Jr. and sent to Frank Speck. In some cases, White had the Innu make up artifacts that had fallen out of use.
Following Frank Speck's death in 1950, the ROM's Frank Speck collection was stored at the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and sold by Mrs. Speck to the ROM in 1958.

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